Navy has deployed 5 remotely-operated vehicles to rescue trapped miners: Meghalaya government to Supreme Court

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jan 11, 2019, 03:43 PM IST
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File photo of the Meghalaya mine rescue in progress. Photograph:(Reuters)

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The bench has posted the matter to January 18 for further hearing.

The Meghalaya government informed the Supreme Court on Friday that the Indian navy has deployed five remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) in the operation to rescue 15 miners trapped inside an illegal coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13.

The state government told a bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer that one crore litre of water has been pumped out so far from the illegal mine but seepage from nearby rivers was creating hurdles in the rescue operation.

The bench sought to know from the state's counsel as to whether any action had been taken against those indulging in illegal mining activities there.

The counsel told the court that the person running the illegal mine where the incident took place had been arrested.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the court that every possible step has been taken for the rescue operation and the Indian Air Force has deployed planes and helicopters for airlifting requisite equipment and manpower.

The bench has posted the matter to January 18 for further hearing.

The apex court is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Aditya N Prasad who has sought urgent steps to rescue 15 miners trapped in the illegal coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district. 

The high-powered pumps of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd installed pumps to pull out water from the main shaft, where the miners are trapped since December 13, however it developed glitches.

Another submersible pump from Coal India Ltd (CIL) also faced a snag, affecting dewatering operations in the nearby abandoned mines in East Jaintia Hills district, they said.

The current water level in the main shaft is about 160 feet, while its total depth is around 370 feet.